Respectful Insolence

A Kevin Trudeau wannabe revealed?

I’ve made no secret how much contempt I have for Kevin Trudeau, whom I have likened to David Irving, at least with respect to his respect for the truth. He has made many, many millions of dollars selling books with titles like Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About and its followups, in which he claims that there are “natural” cures for all sorts of diseases that the usual cabal of big pharma, the AMA, and the FDA are keeping away from you–yes, you!–in order to protect the profits of big pharma and the hegemony of us “conventional” physicians. Obviously, Trudeau is a total hack who pushes quackery, but he’s a very clever hack who knows how to take advantage of the First Amendment to get around FDA orders not to advertise the quackery he was selling. In any case, It’s always guaranteed to annoy me when I see anything along the line of claims that there exist “miracle cures” that are somehow being suppressed. There may be lots of deficiencies in our system for developing and marketing new drugs, but the conspiracy-mongering claim that there’s a suppression is just plain silly. At the very least, there’s the lure of fame and the Nobel Prize for the scientist who revealed that cure.

Unless, of course, the FDA, big pharma, and AMA are threatening these scientists. Probably with the help of the Illuminati and the Masons.

The latest bit of “cancer cures ‘they’ won’t tell you about” nonsense comes from a site that’s known for its advocacy of HIV/AIDS denialism the ├╝ber-crank website, LewRockwell.com:

According to a 2005 poll reported by the American Cancer Society, 27% of Americans agree with the statement: “There is currently a cure for cancer but the medical industry won’t tell the public.” Another 14 percent are uncertain. Denials from cancer authorities were swift after release of the poll results.

As if this proves anything!

The fact that so many people believe that there is a cure for cancer that is being hidden by medicine means nothing. After all, the number of people believe in Bigfoot, astrology, that Elvis is still alive, or that 9/11 was an inside job should be all the evidence you need at how utterly worthless such polls are, other than to demonstrate the depressing level of credulity of the American public. But it does give you an idea where the writer of this tripe, Bill Sardi, is coming from, that is, when he isn’t pushing the quackery protection bill known as the “Health Freedom Act.” He clearly must have utter contempt for his readers to push such nonsense so blatantly. Not surprisingly, the article continues in the same vein:

The search for alternative cures for cancer wouldn’t be necessary except that modern medicine has no effective treatments for this frightful disease more than 30 years after the war on cancer was launched. A recent study shows chemotherapy only contributes to the 5-year survival of 2.3% of cancer cases. Another recent study shows cancer treatments reduce the size of tumors but spawn the development of cancer stem cells that counters the effect of treatment.

On the day a person is diagnosed with cancer, 50% of cases have already spread beyond their site of origin, which is called metastasis, the mortal form of the disease. There is no effective treatment for metastasis. Furthermore, of the remaining 50% of cases, 70-90% of these are solid tumors, mostly of the breast, prostate, lung or colon, that chemo and radiation cannot penetrate. Inevitably tumor resistance sets in, which renders chemotherapy useless and leaves the patient with a weakened immune system. So cancer patients had better start a search for alternative therapies soon after diagnosis.

Note how Sardi doesn’t cite the actual paper to document this claim about chemotherapy? Anyone want to make any bets that either that its message is a lot more complicated than it’s being represented or that it’s from a dubious journal? I tried doing some PubMed searches but was totally unable to find the actual. There just isn’t enough information there to make it possible to find the article without a hell of a lot more effort than I’m willing to put into it.

As for metastasis, medical science is well aware that metastasis is the final frontier in defeating cancer. It’s also not true, at least for a limited number of cancers, that there is no effective treatment for metastasis. For example, surgical excision of lymph node metastases in breast cancer and melanoma can be curative, as can excision of liver metastases from colorectal cancer and solid organ metastases from sarcoma. Metastatic testicular cancer can be cured with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Moreover, it’s hard to see what point Sardi is trying to make about solid tumors that haven’t metastasized being resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, given that most such solid tumors are treated with surgical excision, sometimes with postoperative chemotherapy and/or radiation, if there are no distant metastases

Not surprisingly, Sardi goes on to plug a book, which touts a number of what he terms “scientifically valid” alternative therapies, such as high dose vitamin C (which does not work), vitamin D, or the claim that “thick” blood promotes metastasis (whatever that means), all the while implying that “real” cures are being kept from you. Of course, by “scientifically valid,” Sardi seems to mean to take some science and extrapolate far beyond what the science actually says.

The main subject of his article, however, appears to be the work of Dr. Zheng Cui of Wake Forest University, which is actually quite fascinating work, although, not unexpectedly, Sardi draws conclusions from it that are either overblown or just plain wrong. Specifically, he mentions Dr. Cui’s “cancer-free” mouse, which is described on the Wake Forest website:

Scientists at Wake Forest University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, led by the Pathology Department’s Zheng Cui and Mark Willingham, have bred a colony of mice that successfully fight off cancer.

Occasional, though rare, cases of spontaneous regression in human cancers have been seen and documented in the past, but no satisfactory explanations for this phenomenon have ever been put forward.

While conducting a series of experiments with mouse sarcoma 180 (S180) cells, which form highly aggressive cancers in all normal mice, Dr. Cui and his colleagues happened upon a single mouse that surprised them with its ability to resist several forms of cancer, despite repeated injections of the sarcoma cells.

Breeding the mouse produced offspring that also exhibited cancer resistance, suggesting a likely genetic link.

The cancer-fighting trait appeared to decline as the mice aged; six-week-old mice appeared to resist the cancer completely when injected with S180 cells, while the older mice were more likely to first develop cancer and only thereafter experience spontaneous regression. Further experiments showed that in these cases it was a massive infiltration of white blood cells that destroyed cancer cells in these mice without damaging normal, healthy cells….

Based on these results, Drs. Cui and Willingham and their colleagues suggest that a previously unknown immune response may be responsible for spontaneous regression.

Fascinating stuff. I remember hearing about it and having seen the two papers (1, 2) describing Dr. Cui’s findings.

Here’s the “hidden” part, according to Sardi:

Then unexpectedly, Dr. Cui revealed this September that his research had moved from the animal lab to humans. In an informal and unpublished study, he obtained white blood cells from volunteers and placed them in lab dishes filled with tumor cells.

Some people’s white blood cells killed only 2% of the cancer cells in the lab dish. They represented a small number of people with poor immunity against cancer. The vast majority of people exhibited marginal cancer-cell killing activity. But in a very few people, their white blood cells killed up to 97% of the cancer cells in the lab dish and therefore exhibited the same cancer-cell killing immunity as the cancer-proof mice!

While these figures were initially published in the September 27 issue of New Scientist and subsequently by other news agencies, the fact that some “cancer-proof” humans exist was not headlined. It should have been one of the greatest news headlines ever.

What news reporters focused on was the approval granted by the Food & Drug Administration for Wake Forest University researchers to infuse white blood cells from cancer resistant humans into patients who are battling cancer.

In the New Scientist report, Dr. Cui explained that his human investigation found other controlling factors in humans. Immunity against cancer declined with advancing age, and emotional stress appears to totally abolish it. Furthermore, the season of the year completely controls it. No cancer-resistant blood samples from humans were obtained during winter months.

First off, Sardi seemingly can’t even get his information right. There is no September 27 issue of New Scientist. The article to which Sardi refers was first posted on September 20 and came from the September 22 issue. But that’s just a quibble (although it does make me wonder how fast and loose with other facts Sardi is). It also allows the nature of Sardi’s woo to come into focus:

This last revelation strongly points to vitamin D, the sunshine hormone that is produced in human skin upon exposure to the sun’s fast-tanning UV-B rays, or that can be purchased as a vitamin pill in pharmacies and health shops. Vitamin D levels are higher in summer than winter…

The Wake Forest University researchers made brief mention of vitamin D, but then the news headlines featured the approval of the white blood cell human infusion study that will have to wait till next summer to commence because of the seasonal variance. The vitamin D connection was swept under the rug.

Ah, yes, the cure for cancer is vitamin D! I should have guessed it when Sardi mentioned it as one the “alternatives” cancer patients should seek out.

If you read the New Scientist article, you’ll see that (1) no “cancer-proof” people were found (they’re called “cancer-resistant” and it hasn’t even been shown yet that their more active natural killer cells translate into true cancer resistance) and (2) it is not hidden that there may be a correlate in people to the “cancer-proof” mice. Of course, even Sardi is forced to note that there is nothing really new about trying to fight cancer immunologically by infusing white blood cells from one patient into another. He’s even forced to point out that this approach is not without its risks, chief among which is graft versus host disease. This latter, however, observation leads Sardi straight into Twilight Zone territory:

In a recent study conducted in France, researchers found life-threatening host-graft reactions emanating from infusion of progenitor cells (similar to stem cells) are provoked by the number of white-blood cells in the infusion. [Transfusion 47 (7): 1268-75, 2007]

Wake Forest University researchers say they will attempt to minimize the possibility of these reactions. However, one wonders if this study is being designed to fail. Will the treatment be worse than the disease? Why have university researchers turned their backs on vitamin D? Maybe researchers’ hands are being tied.

That’s right. According to Sardi, vitamin D is a cancer cure that’s being suppressed, meaning that the researchers’ hands must be “tied.” Because graft versus host disease is a possibility whenever large amounts of immune cells are infused from one patient into another, particularly if the recipient is immunocompromised, Dr. Cui must be wasting his time on a clinical trial that’s “designed to fail” because it isn’t considering vitamin D as a means of amping up the anticancer activity of natural killer cells and preventing graft versus host disease. Never mind that there’s no good evidence to conclude any of these things.

Is that about right?

Of course, it never occurs to Sardi that maybe–just maybe–the reason this research hasn’t yet gotten much attention in the press is because humans aren’t mice. To paraphrase Judah Folkman, “If you’re a mouse and have cancer, we can cure you.” Translating these cures discovered in mice to humans has always been very problematic, though. Or maybe–just maybe–the results aren’t so clear-cut in humans:

While granulocytes from one individual killed around 97 per cent of cancer cells within 24 hours, those from another healthy individual only killed around 2 per cent of cancer cells. Average cancer-killing ability appeared to be lower in adults over the age of 50 and even lower in people with cancer. It also fell when people were stressed, and at certain times of the year.

Killing 97% of cancer cells might produce clinically relevant cancer resistance, but it’s unlikely to make a human “cancer-proof.” (It doesn’t take many cancer cells to establish a tumor.) Having been “in the biz” for a while, I can remember that scientists were routinely curing cancer in mice with immunotherapy back in the late 1980s. Sadly, such amazing results have not translated so dramatically to humans, although immunotherapy and cancer vaccines are promising avenues of treatment to add to our armamentarium. Indeed, melanoma and renal cell cancer are routinely treated with immune-modulating biological therapy, such as interferon, although the success rate is not very good.

A few more articles like this might allow Bill Sardi one day to be able to challenge the master of woo peddling himself, Kevin Trudeau. After all, he has it all: conspiracy mongering, plus a website with clueless antivaccination screeds, liver flush woo, dubious autism “treatments,” and even a credulous treatment of homeopathy. All he needs is a book.

Oh, wait. He has that already. And it’s a doozy, claiming that “Modern Cancer Therapy Does Not Address The Causes Of Cancer” (note the strategically placed bold text), which came a a surprise to me, given how many researcher with whom I interact who are studying the causes of cancer.

I guess Sardi just needs to make an infomercial now.

Comments

  1. #1 Ezekiel Buchheit
    October 4, 2007

    When ever I read a statement like “27% of Americans agree with the statement: “There is currently a cure for cancer but the medical industry won’t tell the public.”” – you know, BLANK% of Americans believe in LUDICROUS STATEMENT ABOUT SUBJECT A – I read it as BLANK% of Americans know jack-shit about SUBJECT A.

    What’s disheartening is that it takes about five entire dedicated minutes of actual reading from a freshman level textbook on any one subject to realize that it is several magnitudes more complex than your previous, un-researched assumption of it ever was. This holds true for most nearly every subject in the known universe. But since a large proportion of the information we receive and operate on comes from more casual sources (friends, co-workers, Oprah), it’s easy to accumulate a body of dubious knowledge.

    And since we all believe, deep down inside, that all people in a position of power relative to our own are evil morons who got into that position solely through their incredible wield of chicanery, it’s easy to get sucked into the next “logical” step – it’s all a conspiracy.

    And vultures prey on this.

    By the way, I have a new book out: Every Boss You Ever Had Really Was Jerk (And They Gave You Cancer)

  2. #2 Save Your
    October 4, 2007

    The link at the end of your blog entry for homeopathy is an article in which Mr. Sardi clearly identifies himself as a non-supporter, calling it both ineffective and “sorcery.” Guess you didn’t read the article.

  3. #3 vlad
    October 4, 2007

    So he’s condemning pseudoscience that has no more and no less validity then his own ideas (respectful reworded). First all of the ideas he comes up with are not new, which he does state but he does leave one thing out. EBM knows all of this and any doctor worth his/her salt states it every time. Go to any GP and they should tell you, eat right and exercise. This would explain the higher sun exposure level. Healthy living works for preventing cancers, extends life etc.
    However there is of course the genetic factor. We all know of people who don’t smoke or drink or have any other fun habits (yes these are fun ) die at young age. I know one personally who died at 50, ran every day drank one drink at parties, never touched smokes. I know many more people in their 80s who drink like fish smoke like chimneys and are still alive. They are not in the best shape and climbing stairs is hard for them but they are still alive.

  4. #4 Orac
    October 4, 2007

    Guess you didn’t read the article.

    Guess you didn’t read the title of the article (They Both Practice Modern Sorcery: Homeopathic versus Allopathic Medicine) or the parts where Sardi basically equated scientific medicine with homeopathy and rejected them both:

    I hope you are coming to the conclusion that both conventional and homeopathic medicines are ineffective, that this is a turf battle for insurance money, not a scientific argument, and that neither side is about to give up their practice of “medicine” to the demise of their own financial interests. Regardless of what facts are thrown in their face, neither MDs or homoepathists are expected to fold up shop. A dose of reality therapy suggests both disciplines should be more appropriately termed the practice of sorcery.

    I stand by my including the link.

  5. #5 Dan
    October 4, 2007

    Orac, this CNN article should get you worked up, it’s titled “5 alternative medicine treatments that work” found at:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/04/ep.alt.med/index.html

    Guess what in number 1? If you guessed acupuncture you would be right. Seems alternative medicine has made the big time.

  6. #6 Jud
    October 4, 2007

    Trudeau may know “how to take advantage of the First Amendment to get around FDA orders,” but at least according to the Wall Street Journal, he’s not quite so good with another federal agency: “Kevin Trudeau, author of ‘The Weight Loss Cure’ and other popular titles, was recently reprimanded by the Federal Trade Commission for misrepresenting the content of his books.”

    Yeah, I know this reprimand will bother him all the way to the bank.

  7. #7 natural cynic
    October 4, 2007

    I have wondered about how many executives from Big Pharma and the AMA have died from cancer. It’s nice to know how noble they are for “taking one for the team” when they might have been cured with the secret medicines they knew about.

  8. #8 Save Your
    October 4, 2007

    Hey, not intending to be combative about it, but I know you like to be accurate. Changing the homeopathy link to “a credulous treatment of homeopathy” still mischaracterizes his view. He could be more accurately called “incredulous”–a skeptic–where homeopathy is concerned, at least based on the linked article.

    It’s a minor point relative to everything else, but why not be accurate even on that detail? Inasmuch as you took the trouble to criticize him for a publication date typo–September 22 instead of 27 (and although just a quibble it did make you “wonder how fast and loose with other facts Sardi is”)–why not represent his views on that subject accurately? You don’t want to be “fast and loose” do you? Or do you assert that he extolls the wonders of homeopathy? If so, why not link to something he’s written that is consistent with that?

    For Sardi to condemn both allopathic medicine and homeopathy is not the same thing as giving credence to homeopathy.

  9. #9 kevinj
    October 4, 2007

    I am curious. Exactly what is it in for the companies to keep the cure secret?
    I would have thought there would be serious money in the cure, obviously if it is something simple that could be brought down the supermarket it would need some camouflage but not exactly insurmountable.

  10. #10 PalMD
    October 4, 2007

    I think all these folks are full of crap. Get a doctor, bureaucrat, and pharm exec all to agree on something? Sounds like a joke in the making…Any real doctor or researcher knows that the whole idea is ridiculous.

    (Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

  11. #11 littlespacegirl
    October 4, 2007

    I read Kevin Trudeau’s first book, and, although I’m sure there was a lot I did NOT accept, there was a little core of suspicion that I took away with me. (B.T.W.–I’m a Canadian–‘Trudeau Wannabe’ has a very different meaning up here!)

  12. #12 littlespacegirl
    October 4, 2007

    To clarify the above–please add the phrase: “of The Powers That Be that I brought to reading the book, and also” between the words ‘suspicion’ and ‘that I took’. Posting on the run–fingers moving faster than brain! :-)

  13. #13 Bill Sardi
    October 10, 2007

    The lengthy criticism at ScienceBlogs of my article posted at http://www.lewrockwell.com concerning cancer deserves swift rebuttal.

    I wrote an article, not a scientific paper with exacting references. If any party wants me to provide references, they can contact me directly.

    The claim that chemotherapy has been found to be effective in no more than 2.3% of cancer patients who survive 5 years is documented in the journal Clinical Oncology, volume 16, pages 549, 2004.

    Surgical excision of tumors excites angiogenesis (new blood vessels) and this would spread tumors faster, a fact that is documented numerous times in the medical literature.

    I have the Sept. 27 citation from New Scientist in my hand (critic says this doesn’t exist) and it includes the report of the cancer-proof mice at Wake Forest University.

    My writings are thoroughly researched with references cited. I don’t know why my unnamed critic throws me under the bus with Kevin Trudeau, as I have not been convicted of meail fraud, while cancer doctors get away with performing disproven treatments every day. The line distinguishing cancer quacks from reliable sources of information about cancer is very muddy. The Mayo Clinic-trained doctor is using treatments that lead to the demise of cancer patients before their disease kills them.

    I think anybody who launches such criticism should have to reveal their real name and alliances, as I have.

    Bill Sardi
    Knowledge of Health, Inc.
    bsardi@aol.com

  14. #14 Orac
    October 10, 2007

    The claim that chemotherapy has been found to be effective in no more than 2.3% of cancer patients who survive 5 years is documented in the journal Clinical Oncology, volume 16, pages 549, 2004.

    I find it rather telling that the authors made a number of errors and assumptions that arguably led to an underestimate of the benefit of chemotherapy. For example, there is no logical reason for their leaving out the leukemias (which are very sensitive to chemotherapy) other than that they are “usually treated by hematologists.” It is also odd that they chose five year survival as the be-all and end-all of whether chemotherapy benefits, given that the survival curves continue to diverge after five years.

    There was a rather interesting letter about this article in Clinical Oncology Vol. 17, June 2005, p. 294 that mirrored some of the flaws I saw in this study. I’ll quote liberally from it:

    We are concerned that their approach underestimates the contribution of chemotherapy to the care of cancer patients. By using all newly diagnosed adult patients as a denominator, despite the fact that chemotherapy is not indicated for many of these patients, the magnitude of the benefit in many sub-groups is obscured.

    Furthermore, the authors use a time-point of 5 years to assess effect on survival. This will underestimate the efficacy of chemotherapy because of late relapses. In breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women, survival curves show ongoing relapses beyond 5 years. Adjuvant chemotherapy produces an absolute survival benefit at 10 years in women less than 50 years with node-negative and node-positive disease of 7% and 11%, respectively, whereas the benefit at 5 years is 3% and 6.8% [2]. Quality-adjusted Times Without Symptoms of disease and Toxicity of treatment (Q-TWIST) analysis has shown additional benefits beyond just survival, with adjuvant treatment of breast cancer prolonging quality-adjusted survival, partly by delaying symptomatic disease relapse [3].

    The paper also contains several inaccuracies and omissions. The authors omitted leukaemias, which they curiously justify in part by citing the fact that it is usually treated by clinical haematologists rather than medical oncologists. They also wrongly state that only intermediate and high-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of large-B cell type can be cured with chemotherapy, and ignore T-cell lymphomas and the highly curable Burkitt’s lymphoma. They neglect to mention the significant survival benefit achievable with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation to treat newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma [4]. In ovarian cancer, they quote a survival benefit from chemotherapy of 11% at 5 years, based on a single randomised-controlled trial (RCT), in which chemotherapy was given in both arms [5]; however, subsequent trials have reported higher 5-year survival rates. In cancers such as myeloma and ovarian cancer, in which chemotherapy has been used long before our current era of well-designed RCTs, the lack of RCT comparing chemotherapy to best supportive care should not be misconstrued to dismiss or minimise any survival benefit. In head and neck cancer, the authors erroneously claim the benefit from chemotherapy given concomitantly with radiotherapy in a meta-analysis to be 4%, when 8% was in fact reported [6].

    The authors do not address the important benefits from chemotherapy to treat advanced cancer. Many patients with cancers such as lung and colon present or relapse with advanced incurable disease. For these conditions, chemotherapy significantly improves median survival rates, and may also improve quality of life by reducing symptoms and complications of cancer.

    I think the biggest flaw in this study, though, is that it lumps all these cancers together, including cases in which chemotherapy may not be indicated. For solid tumors, it is true that chemotherapy generally has only a small effect on long term survival, but that’s because those tumors are treated with surgery and chemotherapy is usually given as an adjuvant therapy.

    As for angiogenesis, you really, really don’t want to go there. Trust me on this one. That’s the area of my research interest, for which I am NIH-funded. The documentation of “spreading faster” due to the induction of angiogenesis by surgery is not at all a consistent finding. It may be a real phenomenon in some tumors, but for the majority it is not. Angiogenesis also has nothing to do with my criticism of your article and book. I also notice that you appear unable to comment on my deconstruction of your take on the “cancer-free” mice.

    I will, however, take your word for it that you haven’t been convicted of mail fraud. Congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. However, you do write the same sort of drivel that Trudeau writes about alleged “cancer cures” that “they” don’t want you to know about.

  15. #15 Bill Sardi
    October 10, 2007

    My antagonist’s reply confirms:

    1. He has turf to protect, as suspected. He receives legal payoffs from the NIH. He defends a failed cancer industry. Refer to Clifton Leif’s report (Leif is FORTUNE magazine executive editor and Hodgkin’s disease survivor) entitled “We’re Losing the War on Cancer, Fortune, March 2004..

    2. He is involved in the cancer industry which maintains it holds the scientific high ground against cancer quacks, but then uses this charade to perform harsh and disproven cancer treatments on patients.

    3. Confirms that surgery does induce angiogenesis and the spread of cancer. It is often misstated that surgical excision of tumors inhibits the spread of tumors, but the new blood vessels don’t emanate from the tumor site outward but from the wound area inward.

    4. How can chemotherapy be said to be meaningfully beneficial for advanced stage lung cancer when survival typically is only a year? Cancer treatment is using very small advances in survival (weeks to months) to trumpet their work at the cost of thousands of dollars per month. Researcher John Bailar has made it clear that declared advances in cancer survival are imaginary and without scientific basis. Doctors are detecting cancer when tumors are smaller, but the patient is still succumbing to their disease on about the same calendar day.

    5. Let me add that ORAC claims vitamin C doesn’t cure cancer, but he needs to be updated on the progress of ascorbate research. The NIH is re-evaluating vitamin C therapy after it was ascertained that cytotoxic levels of vitamin C can be produced by intravenous therapy. [Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Annals Internal Medicine 2004: April 6; 140 (7): 533-37, 2004] Even 3 cases of total remission from cancer have been documented now in the medical literature involving intravenous vitamin C treatment, which serves as vindication for the Pauling/Cameron cancer therapy of the 1970s. [Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. Canadian Medical Assn Journal 2006 Mar 28;174(7):937-42] Mayo Clinic performed a bogus study using high-dose oral vitamin C, to negate Pauling’s discovery.

    I hold to my claim. On the day a person is diagnosed with cancer, 50% of these cases have spread to sites beyond their place of origin (metastasis) and there is no proven treatment for metastasis. Second, 70-90% of the remaining cases diagnosed are solid tumors (mostly breast, prostate, colon and lung) which chemo and radiation therapy cannot penetrate. Furthermore, within weeks tumor resistance develops, making chemotherapy useless, while the patient’s immune system has been destroyed. Cancer patients must seek alternatives early after diagnosis, and I’m not talking about Rife machines, alkalinity therapy or colon cleansing.

    Regarding the allegation that I am a conspiratorialist, answer this question: Why didn’t Wake Forest researchers headline the fact some humans exhibit the same cancer resistance as cancer-proof mice? Why weren’t there worldwide headlines about this? Why haven’t the researchers pursued a gene array study to find the single gene they say is responsible for the unusual immunity against cancer observed in the mice? Why did the researchers only mention in passing, at a meeting, that vitamin D may be involved here, then overlook vitamin D altogether in their application to the FDA for a human trial?

    Bill Sardi
    Knowledge of Health, Inc.
    San Dimas, CA 91773
    bsardi@aol.com

  16. #16 Orac
    October 11, 2007

    Responses:

    #1: One notes that Mr. Sardi fell right for my trap. Sensing his conspiratorial mindset, I mentioned my NIH funding on purpose, and he responded quite predictably. I am not impressed by the Pharma Shill Gambit. It is a blatantly obvious attempt at “poisoning the well.”

    #2: See my response to #1. Is Mr. Sardi claiming that surgery can’t cure many solid tumors?

    #3: “Confirms” is too strong a word. The evidence is by no means conclusive, nor is there much evidence that this effect results in decreased survival. There are studies showing increased levels of VEGF, bFGF, etc., but the significance of these findings are unclear. Even if they were significant, in the case of solid tumors surgery remains the only curative modality for most solid tumors; so the answer would be to mitigate the effect more than anything else. In the absence of good studies suggesting that surgery “promotes the spread of tumors,” though, it is difficult to be alarmed, given that using antiangiogenic therapy is not without risks itself (poor wound healing, hypertension, bleeding, depending upon the specific agent). Mr. Sardi is to be condemned for spreading this poisonous myth.

    #4: Mr. Sardi should learn the proper term for what he is describing, specifically lead time bias. He should also learn that good clinical trials control for this effect, which is why stage matching is so important. I’ve written extensively about lead time bias, the Will Rogers effect, stage migration, and other confounding factors that make it difficult to quantify treatment effects. Mr. Sardi’s understanding of these issues is clearly quite superficial, and he seems utterly unaware that controlling as much as possible for such confounding factors is a critical part of clinical cancer research.

    #5: I have reviewed the most recent studies on vitamin C and cancer and found them wanting. It’s a cell culture phenomenon, and the “best” three cases that were presented were, when examined critically, not impressive at all. If megadoses of vitamin C have any effect against cancers at all, the effect is certainly at best marginal. Vitamin C is not a cure by any stretch of the imagination, even if the most favorable studies are examined.

    As for Mr. Sardi’s questions about the Wake Forest trial, how the hell should I know? What I do know is that his implication that somehow investigators’s hands were “being tied” is nothing more than a dark paranoid insinuation with zero evidence presented to support its truth. Mr. Sardi speculates without evidence, which is very easy to do, and I called him on that.

  17. #17 Buda
    October 11, 2007

    Orac, not much of a trap. You admit you are owned by NIH, so you were forthcoming about your bias and inability to be objective, hey great. Now where are your references? Some of us would like to get to the bottom of this, not just read useless opinion. You condemned Sardi for not having them but you provide none. And what is with the ad hominem attacks, stick to the facts man.

  18. #18 Orac
    October 11, 2007

    Oh, please. Mr. Sardi does better than you, and that surely isn’t saying much.

    You think I didn’t present references, click on the links in my post above (well, except for the Pharma Shill Gambit post; although that particular gem of mine is custom-designed for people like you, it doesn’t reference the primary literature).

    In any case, I analyzed the most recent primary literature that vitamin C advocates like to cite as “proof” that vitamin C cures cancer and demonstrated how those references show no such thing. The discussion of lead time bias, etc., comes from the literature. My retorts to Mr. Sardi involved going to the primary literature that he cited (when I could find it).

  19. #19 Bronze Dog
    October 11, 2007

    Buda, you do realize that blue, underlined text can typically be clicked upon to take you somewhere else, right?

    As for this:

    Orac, not much of a trap. You admit you are owned by NIH, so you were forthcoming about your bias and inability to be objective, hey great.

    Yawn. Like you’re any less biased. Only beings I can think of immune to bias would be deities, and evidence for them has been pretty shoddy at best.

    You condemned Sardi for not having them but you provide none. And what is with the ad hominem attacks, stick to the facts man.

    I’m wondering if you decided to get up one day and not read anything a skeptic has to say, so that you can parrot mindless doggerel. Try actually looking at the links.

    Also, you obviously don’t know the difference between a harmless ad homenim and an ad hominem fallacy. Where has Orac used an ad hominem fallaciously?

  20. #20 Buda
    October 12, 2007

    I see, you think links to more drivel by the same author qualifies as a reference. Brilliant.

    And then we add the backlinks to each other featuring your own lame site begging for web traffic and just praying that someone will read your worthless thoughts so you can sell advertising. Bronze Dog, do you get all of 5 hits a day? You you really think people care about what you have to say?

    Now what is brilliant but unethical and possibly actionable is profiting from the use of keywords like Kevin Trudeau. Playing the little search engine game, which is really what this is all about.

    It is clear this site only exist to ride the coattails of others that actually have knowledge by invoking their name and stealing their copywrited material (Orac can’t possibly hope his quotes in this post alone are within fair use), all so search engines find this site rather than the legitimate owners the of material.

    Nothing to see here but typical search engine spammers.

  21. #21 Orac
    October 12, 2007

    I see, you think links to more drivel by the same author qualifies as a reference. Brilliant.

    Obviously you didn’t bother to click on either link. The vitamin C link references the two most recent studies that claim to show that vitamin C cures cancer and does a careful analysis of them. Not surprisingly, I found that they don’t show what twits like you think they show–not that you’ll ever read it and see that’s true.

    As for your claim that I’m playing the search engine game, that’s just plain silly, as anyone who looked at my logs could be shown. I get at most a few visits a week from people searching for anything about Kevin Trudeau.

    As I said, Mr. Sardi did a much better job of defending his views than you did, and he didn’t do so hot.

  22. #22 A Bill Sardi Detractor
    December 13, 2007

    Bill “the lying sack of shit” Sardi said, “My writings are thoroughly researched with references cited.”

    Gosh Bill, I remember your writings and products from your retinitis pigmentosa phase. Yea, you cite references. The problem is that that you purposely misrepresent and lie about published findings. “There’s No RP Gene” ring any bells?

    Interesting that you hoodwinked a bunch of naive parents into buying a bunch of expensive vitamins for their children only to abandon them once you realized there wasn’t much of a market for rare diseases. Say hello to Linda Caspari for me.

    You are lower than scum.

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